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community weblog - [ Cruising Sailing - All kinds ]

Cruising Sailing - All kinds


I enjoyed some of your turns of phase and images of the sport. They reminded me of our fondest memories.

I submit for your interest another kind of cruiser, perhaps a little rare: the cruising trailer sailor. That is us. We trailer an 1978 O'Day 23 that we purchased used in '93 when my son was 5 and daughter 2. Since then we have sailed it every chance we can reasonably get.

Unlike the folks in your article we have never had the luxury of weeks of time off in a row. Nor, given financial priorities, can we afford the big boat in a slip and the take in / take out and storage charges. So the Fairwind has grown steadily into a pocket cruiser that allows us generally one to two weeks in the finest of the Great Lakes cruising grounds while still being able to get back to work on time.

We built a gin-pole rig and tabernacle that lets us get the boat fully rigged or de-rigged in about 30 minutes. The boat has had a galley stove, sink, pull-out almost double bed and large capacity porta-poti since the beginning. We have added a seriously road-worthy trailer, 9' Bombard dinghy and motor, auto-helm and finally refrigeration that lasts up to 3 - 4 days. My wife loves that part especially. Planning cooking and consuming generally elegant meals each evening along with wine makes the trips especially memorable.

We have trailer to the North Channel three times, sailed down the west coast of Michigan, many trips to the islands, last year being to the Foxes for the first time. Our 2010 trip was a circumnavigating the Keweenaw Peninsula. This was a spectacular and a little scary adventure. Once committed on the big lake in a small centerboarder (albeit with heavy short keel and proper reefing) you are really committed: No stopping for as much as 36 miles of rock-bound shore and sometimes too much wind. Beautiful, wild and lonely like no other place we have cruised. I went to school at Tech so once back in the canal it was like old home week.

Anyway, I just wanted to point out that, if one is committed to the life of cruising but has limited time and means there is another way. Surely it is a hybrid and we have limitations, mostly in the upwind direction. Nevertheless we have had 18 years of wonderful memories that we would not want to give up waiting for that big boat some day.

I don't know if this is publishable in some way. Perhaps not. But I thought you would like the story, anyway.

Art Schubert, Jr. and Linda
Traverse City

P.S. If you know of the perfect, launchable trailer boat model with 5'10 headroom we would appreciate hearing about it. Wwe would like to upgrade someday.



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    - [boatbuilder]
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